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The White House will nominate Kirstjen Nielsen to head the Department of Homeland Security, a senior USA government official confirmed to FedScoop.

Nielsen, 45, has a background in cyber-security policy. They spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss deliberations before a formal announcement.

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, a cybersecurity expert and deputy White House chief of staff, to be Homeland Security secretary, a job left vacant when John Kelly left the department to become White House chief of staff in July, four administration officials confirmed Wednesday.

"The decision wouldn't have been made without the chief of staff's endorsement", a source told CNN, referring to Kelly's endorsement of Nielsen.

News that she was viewed as one of Kelly's enforcers - someone who brought structure to the day-to-day operations at the White House, though some were frustrated by her direct style and role in limiting access to meetings and the Oval Office.

Added Frances Townsend, her boss at the White House during the Bush administration: "She is tough as nails, competent and has rightly earned the president's respect". She's the first nominee to lead DHS to have previously worked there.

The president has also been suffering from an understocked administration while deputy security positions remain unfilled in other departments and Health and Human Services remains without a permanent nominee, although Trump announced Tuesday night that Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan would serve as acting secretary for the time being.

"[Nielsen] would be the first person to run the department who has actually worked there", a person close to the administration told Politico.

John Kelly's longtime aide, as his pick to be the next Department of Homeland Security Secretary.


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